Airport screeners save fliers from 4-year-old in leg braces

In the dictionary, this comes under the definition of “asinine.”

TSA apologizes for forcing 4-year-old to remove leg braces at airport screening.

Did you hear about the Camden cop whose disabled son wasn’t allowed to pass through airport security unless he took off his leg braces?

Unfortunately, it’s no joke. This happened to Bob Thomas, a 53-year-old officer in Camden’s emergency crime suppression team, who was flying to Orlando in March with his wife, Leona, and their son, Ryan.

Ryan was “born 16 weeks prematurely. His ankles are malformed and his legs have low muscle tone. In March he was just starting to walk.”

Leona Thomas walked Ryan through the metal detector.

The alarm went off.

The screener told them to take off the boy’s braces.

The Thomases were dumbfounded. “I told them he can’t walk without them on his own,” Bob Thomas said.

“He said, ‘He’ll need to take them off.’ ”

Ryan’s mother offered to walk him through the detector after they removed the braces, which are custom-made of metal and hardened plastic.

No, the screener replied. The boy had to walk on his own.

Leona Thomas said she was calm. Bob Thomas said he was starting to burn.

They complied, and Leona went first, followed by Ryan, followed by Bob, so the boy wouldn’t be hurt if he fell. Ryan made it through.

By then, Bob Thomas was furious. He demanded to see a supervisor. The supervisor asked what was wrong.

“I told him, ‘This is overkill. He’s 4 years old. I don’t think he’s a terrorist.’ ”

The supervisor replied, “You know why we’re doing this,” Thomas said.

“Ryan was taking his first flight, to Walt Disney World, for his fourth birthday.”

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8 responses to “Airport screeners save fliers from 4-year-old in leg braces

  1. Oh wow! My heart goes out to that poor child who must be so confused!! I’d be LIVID if I were the parent!!

  2. That poor kid. There’s no excuse good enough.

    Asinine is the word. But I can think of a few others as well…

    And I think it would be wise for that TSA Agent to avoid driving through Camden for a while. Like maybe the for rest of his life.

  3. (geez…dyslexics of the world, untie!…pardon my typo…again.) Meg, we need an edit button. Well, I do, anyway.

  4. Dan, I feel for you. My dylsexia of choice is to swap words on adjacent lines, and believe me, hilarity does ensue.

    Really, ask my wife about the time I was reading something aloud to her and I came up with the phrase “glossy paperwork” (not to be confused with naming humorous spycraft “clown-destine actions”).

  5. Now, about the kid…there are at least two TSA agents who, along with their GED certificates, should be drummed out of public “service”.

    Between the TSA keeping me safe and the airlines charging me every fee they can come up with, I’m rapidly losing my taste for air travel.

  6. Things like this show the complete lack of common sense that is rampant in the world today. Pretty sad.

  7. Nowadays, I’m more worried about the stupidity of people in positions of power than I am about terrorists.

  8. I would have been so angry, I would have bawled.